Georgia Lottery Announces Mega Millions Lottery Winner

One of the two winners of the large jackpot has been identified, decides to take lump sum.
3:00 | 12/18/13

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Transcript for Georgia Lottery Announces Mega Millions Lottery Winner
This is a special group. Hello this is an ABC news digital special report 324. Million dollars that is how much one Mega Millions lottery ticket is worth. There were two winning jackpot tickets -- that is the divided. -- -- purchased in San Jose California the other in Atlanta Georgia. And the Georgia -- -- press conference where they're putting out one of the winners from last night's jackpot. Listen we're really excited because not only did we have one -- two Mega Millions winners. We also -- hat to one million dollar winners we had 25. 2000 dollar winner's. -- -- I'm sorry let me get those notes right we have so many winners last night. We had 320000. Dollar winners 265000. Dollar winner's. 182000. Dollar winners and over 900000. Other prize winners are great night here in Georgia and our prize -- did trim and two lottery headquarters this afternoon to claim her prize. Her name is -- curry she lives in stone mountain. She has elected to take the cash option and will be sharing with you what that means for her and -- can't play. It's over 173. Million for that cash option. Of which we will -- colts 25%. For federal income tax and 6% for. That will leave that family with about a 120 million dollars cash. I'm high and high -- and her family had elected not to participate and act big press conference this afternoon. And we're going to be very respectful of their privacy. I would -- you which you that they were very very excited about the win. They were as space that still in the state of shock. This morning and ms. Currie I have heard about that jackpot trying. Last evening. She heard on the radio station. That they announcer talking about a seven number seven as then -- not. She realized that that was hurt pick and so she called her -- daughter. -- daughter her daughter checked the winning numbers and sure enough they -- the big Mega Millions winner or Georgia. She said she didn't -- off the road because that was my question how did you not swerve off the road. She said that she was just -- -- stated dismally and I think after talking to her for a couple hours this afternoon. She was certainly in a state of disbelief. Both her and her husband and other family members we're here at Georgia lottery headquarters. Have they are so strongly supported at the Georgia lottery corporation and and the two public benefit programs that are proceeds fun I was hoping pre K. She said to -- even if she lost she want because there's proceeds benefit all of the kids here in short Jack. And so that was really I think really heartwarming for us that even if she had lost she really felt like she was a winner. She did pick in numbers. They were -- family birthdays and her family's -- number number seven. And so that's how that she didn't -- get quick -- those were actually numbers that she's been playing based on family birthdays. She has not decided how she will stand as -- I think she's gonna take some time and I think about it and turned her -- -- and spent some time with her and her family members. And then they'll make -- decision later. So -- that it was a great night. -- -- the Georgia lottery corporation and for our players and for our retailers and they want to thank. Other players and our retailers and give -- the media our sincerest appreciation for being here and helping us share that excitement. And we wish you -- -- list of holidays. It's. Get her first thing is I -- IRJ. The last thing is curry CU RRY. We're gonna be respectful of our players privacy. She's asked us to respect that privacy and we're gonna share with you in the press release. I'm all that we can share with you at this time. We are we are not sharing her husband's name as a part of the press release it to because we -- to open records. We're obligated to stare at the name of the winner. -- -- the gained -- playing the city that she played and the retailer. That sold her the winning lottery ticket. When it's -- about the retailer. Moments that -- -- act would -- winning that map that the winner but it is certainly this is a lucky star. And hopefully that this still -- which as gateway newsstands. I had 3500 -- surround. Although they do not get a cashing bonus aren't selling bonus for the ticket. We think that the just the value of being a lucky star will drive additional traffic into retail. I'm so it is at 3500 -- -- And I think there's a great deal of excitement. At that retail location right now she will be included immunity. There's. Yet what they Georgia lottery retailers get is 6% of sales that statutorily -- This. This is Florida sales at this store. We are giving you as much information as that week as we can provide according to open records and how we -- being very respectful of our winners privacy. This is she told us that she bought one ticket and it was a last minute purchase and she did not say what time she bought it it was a last minute purchase. -- he did say it was at the end of the day. She did not tell us what day she purchased it here. Yeah I it does I did not elected a copy of the ticket -- can look at stats it was last Friday. So story where he shouldn't. No she's not going to continue -- -- in the cash option and the cash options that valued at over 173 million dollars. I'm -- -- Rick I'm the president and CEO of the Georgia lottery. Hey Alan FO RD. -- -- Very unusual they caught us by surprise quite honestly say and so we -- expect him to take a little bit of time. But I think they were anxious and quite inside and and to come and claim their prize winnings so both of those. They were hurt us. Well they we're processing the claim at this point and so we have to do -- cash transfer out didn't Mega Millions account. And I would estimate which then. I'm sorry you. I would not I wouldn't say it's uncommon that at that that quick pick when and -- -- I think most. Our winners are quick pick winners I don't know what he ratio a quick -- too. You know yet player -- numbers are but it's more common for a quick pick to be picked at need to be a winner. -- -- We're -- to respect to our play areas confidentiality. And request for privacy. She was driving to work and she had to radio -- And -- announcer was talking and out the mega ball which is seven -- seven is that family is lucky number. And she knew she had the mega ball so she called her daughter. And gave Dick -- the numbers the nutter immediately looked it up online. And between -- joyful T here is and laughed here. On the daughter's heart she relayed to her mother that they that her mother had won the lottery and patent and ms. Currie said that I ask her how. How did she keep them veering off the road and she said. I was in the state of disbelief I still didn't believe it when my daughter tell me. So they act different family members all checked the numbers and they came down and even as we checked the numbers. I don't think that ms. Currie believed that she -- until I walked in and told her congratulations. -- -- -- did you leverage. I Asian think she did tell because she spent some time with us. Here. I am. That I was -- -- meeting when she arrived and I think I stepped in to meet parent I would -- about eleven -- eleven between eleven and twelve. Friday. She was holding onto the winning -- and she didn't know it. She did not say she left after leaving work. She said it was a last minute decision to die. On Friday night where she didn't say to meet Friday -- -- -- she said it was a last minute decision to buy. I'm sure there was there -- a lot and I'd -- here today as well I can't. -- -- It we -- it -- to fifteen valiant. Any other questions. Again thank you so much we just want to really express our sincerest appreciation to our retailers. And to our players. And even media thank you thank you so much for helping this lasts for only Mega Millions is accessible -- -- not only the Georgia lottery. But also other lotteries nationally because their programs. Our Bennett -- our public benefit programs as well thank you so very -- happy holidays. A lot of excitement there -- the head of the Georgia lottery system talking about the winner of the Mega Millions jackpot one. Who bought their ticket in Georgia the other of course San Jose California that California -- has not come forward but we didn't know a little bit more. About the person that had bought their ticket in Georgia the winning ticket holder her name is -- -- curry. And she decided to take the cash option which will amount to 123. Million dollars a lump sum payment. She won't get in her checking account in about two weeks. A lot of excitement surrounding the -- there and we're gonna talk to someone who can help. With the aftermath of winning the lottery and making sure that wise choices are made we have Robert. How -- knee on the phone joining us from Skype via from. Mission yet -- California. Robert a couple things we know about the winner. She decided not to participate in today's news conference she didn't show up and show her face to the public. She opted to cut it to take the cash -- from your perspective or those too wide decision. -- first of all congratulations to her for the big win and I would say that most people do you take. The lump sum option instead of the annuity. And so I do like the fact that she declined the media. Sort of publicity event. And unfortunately in Georgia she could not remain anonymous in there are certain states where you can. And fortunately George is not one of them but so far she's doing the doing the right things. I think you're job is to help people -- won the lottery you give them financial guidance. And turns -- taking the lump sum does that make sense financially. You know that's a good question -- Typically most people take the lump sum but there are certain circumstances. Where the annuity actually makes more cents. From just a financial perspective the lump -- almost always beats the annuity but. The one big advantage that you have with the annuity. Is that you can make a mistake. A few times and each year you get to hit the reset button -- that new check comes every year. With a lump sum payment if you make a big mistake that money's gone and you can't hit the reset button at that point so for certain people. I do think the the annuity option is the better way to go. Interesting robbery talk about making mistakes and interesting thing about winning the lottery. Can often be -- terrible thing. For people who have won a lot of people -- a huge fortune and then lose it. So what are the biggest personal struggles people face after becoming multi millionaires -- Yeah but -- that's that's exactly right -- With the big lottery winner with any sudden -- of bad -- -- lottery or a lawsuit or something else. It can really turn someone's life upside down and it can absolutely changed your life but that thing that I focus on in working with clients. -- that. Not necessarily changing your life but improving. Your life and there's that there's a pretty big distinction there. In so what I would suggest Ira and anyone coming in the sudden wealth is first and foremost. Is to slow. -- down because like like iris said. She isn't a state of shock and that's very typical in a situation like this. And if you want the formula for bad decisions it is. High stress and high emotions and those two things lead -- ways to very very bad decisions. So that's why you have to slow the process down. Don't make any big financial commitments don't make any promises to anybody. Buying a team of advisors. Get a tax attorney get an estate attorney get us CPA and a financial advisor that's your team. Huddle around with them and figure out the game plan and but do not make any decisions at this point. And of course what everyone wants to do is start planning their new life in figuring out all the things that they want to buy for themselves and for others. That's great but what I would suggest is just creating a wish list just start -- that things down that you wanna do with her new life. But don't make any of those decisions just yet. All right so you know -- can imagine that higher as. Family and friends are calling her legitimately -- wish her well but. I won't -- -- you know the thought in the back of their -- as soon I want to have generous -- gonna be number one thing you say don't make any promises. Right -- even for your loved ones. That's exactly right that I've been doing this long enough that honestly. I've heard it all and I'm I'm really never surprised -- anything anymore. Because some of the stories -- just absolutely crazy that people that come out about what works. Requesting help looking for loans looking for investments so one of my twelve Sutton -- principles is learning how to say. No. That it seems -- really easy it's just two letters no but it's really hard. And so people have to get used to creating a better boundary between them and even family members and certainly friends -- Course absolutely strangers that make -- on them. And ask for money so there's a process that you go through of of just. Getting comfortable in your own skin in this new light that you have. And being able to -- know when you need to you using your advisors as shields so they can be the bad guys and you can keep that relationship. -- -- -- -- and according to lottery officials there in Georgia in just two weeks. 123. And clean it up is going to be deposited into higher -- bank account that's not a lot of time to plan. Wishing someone put that money right away for the short term as there -- creating. A longer term financial plan. Great question so what I would recommend is to separate accounts at this point. But once you've got a couple of weeks I would work within -- state attorney work work with an asset protection attorney. Make sure that the accounts set up correctly whether it's an LLC -- trust make sure that work is done. And secondly I would have an account that is just dedicated to taxes. And I know that the government already taken out 25%. For federal income tax in 6% for Georgia income tax. But she still gonna owe more taxed the highest federal income tax bracket is 39 in point 6%. They've taken out 45%. That still leaves another 15% tax she'd have to pay. And so it's him or not to get fixated on that one amount that comes into the that wired in. You need to take some of that money set it aside for the -- that you're inevitably gonna have to pay next year. All right interesting point there Robert -- -- thank you so much for joining us number one less than Uncle Sam comes first -- here doling out. Those lottery winnings. And once again -- get a complete recap of the latest on the Mega Millions lottery winners we do have the identity of one of those winners of winner from Georgia. Name is Ira curry and she's decided to take the lump sum cash payment. Of 123. Million dollars. After taxes. For now -- Hernandez in New York this has been an ABC news digital special report thanks for joining us.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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